The King received Akhannouch Friday at the Royal Palace in Marrakech.
“During the reception, His Majesty renewed his hopes and ambitions for rural areas by creating new activities that generate employment and income opportunities, especially for young people,” the Royal Cabinet said in a statement.
“This can be done through broadening the scope of agricultural investment to all categories, while promoting the emergence of an agricultural middle class and making agricultural land more accessible to productive investment by gradually providing an additional one million hectares of collective land to the beneficiaries,” added the statement.
In his speech at the opening of Parliament for the new legislative year, the King emphasized the importance of using communal agricultural land (sulaliyat) for investment projects. It would “serve as a powerful lever for improved economic and social conditions, especially for rights holders.”
“This should make it possible to secure at least one million additional hectares of this land,” the King said.
King Mohammed VI stressed the need to boost agricultural employment to improve living conditions and consolidate stability in rural areas.
King Mohammed VI believes that providing employment for youth in rural areas, especially the rural middle class, could serve “as a lever” for the country’s economic and social development, in the same way as the middle class does in the city.
Following the King’s instructions, Minister Akhannouch announced on October 15 the government will distribute 1 million hectares of land to small farmers to develop Morocco’s rural areas.
Akhannouch described the initiative as a “takeoff for the rural world” in Morocco.
According to the Royal Cabinet’s statement Friday, the monarch reaffirmed the importance of integrating labor issues, reducing disparities, fighting poverty, and rural emigration into the priorities of the agricultural development strategy.
King Mohammed VI instructed the minister of agriculture to submit a strategic and comprehensive reflection on the development of the agricultural sector.